ISTA Pharmaceuticals Inc. is raising $36.75 million in private placement of stock, funds that will be used to support development and marketing of its products for treating eye diseases.

The Irvine, Calif., company entered definitive agreements with institutional investors for the sale of 5.25 million common shares at $7 per share. The deal is expected to close Friday. Lehman Brothers is lead placement agent. Other agents are Lazard Freres & Co. LLC, Susquehanna Financial Group LLLP and Thomas Weisel Partners LLC.

ISTA last month reported positive data from a Phase II/III trial of bepotastine for the treatment of allergic conjunctivitis, and from a Phase IIb study of ecabet sodium as a treatment for dry eye syndrome. Earlier in May, ISTA received a not-approvable letter from the FDA on its new drug application for T-Pred (prednisolone acetate 1.0 percent and tobramycin 0.3 percent ophthalmic suspension), which is being developed as a topical steroid to treat inflammatory ocular conditions.

ISTA in the first quarter brought in revenues of $10.3 million on sales of three marketed products, with $7 million of that total coming from Xibrom sales. ISTA's net loss for the quarter was $11.5 million. The company had about $27.6 million in cash and equivalents as of March 31, with another $4.8 million in restricted cash. It had 26.22 million shares outstanding at the end of the first quarter.

ISTA's stock (NASDAQ:ISTA) gained 14 cents Wednesday to close at $7.46.

In other financing news:

• PregLem SA, of Geneva, closed a CHF32 million (US$26 million) Series A round of financing. Concurrently, PregLem signed a licensing agreement with Ipsen SA, of Paris, under which PregLem got worldwide rights to certain Ipsen compounds, for use in reproductive medicine only. Terms of that deal were not disclosed, but an Ipsen affiliate gained a minority stake in PregLem. Funding will be used to support development of the new compounds and others in reproductive medicine, with the company's focus on benign gynecological conditions and infertility. The Series A round was led by Sofinnova Partners, and co-led by NeoMed Management and MVM Life Science Partners LLP.

• AlgoNomics NV, of Ghent, Belgium, raised €0.5 million in a second closing of a financing, bringing the total round to €2 million (US$2.7 million). Funds will be invested in the development of an in vitro screening platform designed to complement the company's existing immunogenicity screening services and tools. Its Epibase screening tool is used in the immunogenicity screening and optimization of biotherapeutics, such as therapeutic antibodies, biosimilars and vaccines. Investing in the second closing were Fortis Private Equity and KBC Private Equity.

• EndoCeutics Inc., of Quebec, withdrew its filing for an initial public offering. The company, focused on hormone therapies, filed earlier this year to raise up to $75 million in the IPO, and later lowered the proposed price range on the shares. The company said the withdrawal is based on several factors, including current market conditions and adjustments made to the schedule of planned Phase III clinical studies. Its lead programs are dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) for treating vaginal atrophy, and acolbifene, a selective estrogen receptor modulator for breast cancer. (See BioWorld Today, March 1, 2007.)